"Do I Look Fat to You?"
I smiled awkwardly as I hated to take photo then because of my size
This was how I looked like when I started dating S.C. at 25. Was I fat weighing 143 pounds (65 kg) then?
Honestly, I didn't think so at that time. All my life, my weight was never an issue. After all, slimness just doesn't run in my family and hey, I'm a lot better off than my sisters and cousins. They're simply... HUGE!
Soon that changed after I agreed to get steady with S.C. You see, S.C. swears by exercising to keep himself in great shape (ahem... I do agree his lean body never fails to attract me) and because of his leanness, somehow people turn to look at him (yeah, not at me) when we walked together.
I began to feel inferior and stressful going out with him. Blame it on my imagination. But I looked so huge standing next to him. Hence, I chose clothing that downplayed my thunder thighs and big upper arms. Whenever we passed by a mirror or some stores' glass windows, I quickly shuffle past them for fear of seeing our reflection.
On few occasions where we met his friends, I could feel their eyes scanning my size relative to S.C.'s. I felt so anxious that my size would embarrass him. At one point, the feelings were so suffocating that I need to know what S.C. thought of it. So I asked him directly in his face, "Do I look fat to you?"
At first, S.C. pretended not to hear me. "Did you hear me?" I asked. I was that persistent. Seeing my serious look, S.C. smiled, patted my head as if I was a "giant" puppy and said, "Darling, you'll look prettier with some more fat off and I can help you with that... but I'll love you all the same."
Oh my! I like his honesty but sometimes his words sting real badly. I knew he meant it that he didn't mind my size and I didn't blame him for speaking the truth. Obviously I was the problem. I had to face the truth — I NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT!
Perhaps I believed that I could do this on my own so I didn't ask for S.C.'s help right away. In fact, I wanted to do this secretly. Ideally, I intended to wow him with my new figure.
I went ahead. I read up information on weight control and make 2 new discoveries:
At 143 pounds, I was labeled as overweight, not obese. (Well, that's good news, meaning I didn't need to shed that many pounds)
My excess weight contributed to my health problems — easily fatigued and prone to migraine, flu, constipation or indigestion. (No wonder I always thought my doctor earn my money very easily by repeating the same advice each time, "relax and exercise more"... so there's some hidden truth in her wise advice.)
Simple. I just need a weight loss solution, preferably a rapid one. Since I didn't have any idea on how to start my weight loss plan, I decided to go for trial-and-error method. I firmly believed that with so many weight loss programs out there, it wouldn't take long to find one that worked for me.
That's how I embarked on the trial journey — meal replacement shakes, slimming pills, exercise equipment, detox tea, slimming garments... you name it, I tried it.
Mind you, as desperate as I sounded, I did research these products and their companies before trying them. They're BIG and prestigious brands, which claimed to be super effective, supported by testimonials from real people.
Most importantly, they didn't require me to starve. Yeah, I love to eat. So the only criterion I set for a weight loss product was no starvation required. No way I was going to sacrifice eating in place of a little pill.
One of the slimming brands I tried even gave me quite a nice surprise, not in terms of turning me into a slim beauty, but awarded me with a second prize (real hard cash!) in its lucky draw. I was lucky to win the prize by just buying two boxes of their slimming pills. Nevertheless, after popping the pills for 3 weeks, nothing changed, so I gave up.
So did they work? No.
A year into my weight loss mission, I didn't lose any weight. All these so-called effective crash diets and slimming pills did were to clear my bowels (not regulate, they only worked right after I ate them and stopped working when I didn't take them), which I gave credit for slightly improving my constipation problem. I was soooo disappointed.
My weight and health problems remained. Then what? All right, I need help. And from whom but my boyfriend, S.C., who certainly succeeded to keep the extra flab off his body all these years.
That night, I made a confession to S.C. After I told him what I had done for the past year, he exclaimed, "Darling, what you've done was very risky. You could have hurt yourself. Haven't you read reports about the dire consequences of crash diets and weight loss drugs? Some of them even life-threatening!"
Indeed, that thought never crossed my mind. Phew! Count myself lucky that, except for the money spent for nothing, nothing worse happened to me.
"If you want to lose weight, do it the natural and healthy way. It's stupid to lose the weight at the expense of your health. Try going vegetarian. In fact, eating plant-based foods can help you shed pounds too. Take me for example." S.C. said.
"But I do see fat vegetarians out there", I challenged. "That's because they didn't eat in a healthy vegetarian manner", S.C. replied.
Here's what he meant. I like to use potato as an example. A potato is a good source of carb, fiber, vitamin B, vitamin C, minerals (such as potassium and manganese) and low in fat as long as you boil and eat them in their entirety, skin and all. When you toss out the potato skin and turn it into deep-fried French fries or potato chips, it becomes a fat-laden starchy food (without any nutrient left) that makes you FAT...
Now I don't fear taking photo anymore as you can tell from my big grin
With S.C.'s sound advice, I set my own pace and goals to change my lifestyle, starting from my eating habits. And it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be.
True, healthy vegetarian meals are not about having boring salads and tofu for every meal. I still get to eat my laksa, sushi, pizza, hokkien mee, tom yum soup etc, all in healthier versions. I also get to savor yummy, nutrient-dense raw foods that boost my energy few levels higher.
Coupled with regular exercise like jogging plus some short, burst workouts and yoga practices (it actually teaches you how to breathe more effectively and efficiently to get the most oxygen supply into your body — for your info, oxygen catabolizes body fat), I lost 8 pounds over 6 months. Slow but steady and healthy.
All in all, I lost 27 pounds within 2 years and still keep off the unwanted body fat until now. Not only that, I could feel my overall health improving too.
Yeah, I was luckier than those dieters who died while trying to shed their belly fats, heavy thighs or big upper arms.
Losing weight shouldn't lead to losing your life. I mean, how could anyone choose to die in this manner? But I read appalling stories about men and women who lost their lives or suffered permanent health damage while on crash diets. Let me share with you two recent shocking stories here:
An obese woman died from heart failure after losing more than 42 pounds (19 kg) while on LighterLife diet. She weighed around 244 pounds (110 kg) before going on the fad diet because she wanted to be a slim bride. LighterLife diet restricts people to 530 Calories a day for a maximum of 12 weeks. (What? 530 Cals! That's not even half of what a normal person will need at rest. No wonder her heart cannot take it. "Best" part was, she actually got blessings from her GP to start on this fad diet. What a quack!)
A woman suffered permanent brain damage while on the Amazing Hydration Diet. As advised by her consultant, this detox diet involves drinking extra 4 pints (equivalent to 2 liters) of water daily on top of her normal water intake and drastically reduced her salt intake. As a result of too much water, she suffered seizures in her brain that impaired her speech, memory and concentration abilities. (Who would have imagined life-sustainable water can kill too?)
Despite losing so much weight, (Umm...maybe no big deal when comparing to one who loses 122 pounds) my skin didn't sag but snug nicely around my newfound shape. Oh yes, if you lose too much weight too fast through the crash diets, your skin may not be able to retract as fast.
Taiwanese guy suffering loose skin post rapid weight loss
I came across many stories about post-weight-loss saggy skin like this Taiwanese guy (see right) who successfully lost 150 pounds (68 kg) within 6 months. Ironically, he's determined to lose weight because he couldn't attract any girls at 304 pounds (138 kg). But he's so ashamed of the layered skin around his stomach and saggy chest after weight loss that he shunned away from women instead.
Now, the whole idea of weight loss is to get rid of the excess fat so you'll look good, revitalize your energy and restore your good health. As simple as that. But your body system is not so simple. In fact, it's vulnerable to the damage caused by those unnatural crash diets.
Many obese and overweight people try to force their bodies to lose weight using those crash diets but their plans often backfire on them. In their desperation to seek a quick weight loss solution, they forget to listen to their bodies. They become irrational and easily fall prey to quick-weight-loss hype.
Guess what? Kidney failure, heart attack or stroke are just some of the common repercussions from crash dieting.
I felt sad, disgusted and infuriated by those businesspeople behind the fad diets who cared nothing about your health rather than how much they can rip from your piggybank. Yeah, you were so nice to them feeding them with your hard-earned money, but they were never as nice to you!
C'mon, I can do better than them to help you achieve the shape you want without losing health. I mean, look at me now — melted 27 pounds off and keep it off for good!
I've been a Fat Girl before so I know all the pains and frustrations of being a Fat Girl. Importantly, I've lost the stones and achieved excellent health through natural means.
Don't you want to look as healthy and curvy as me?
Now, I'm sharing with you all my weight loss secrets at iNotFat and added many other natural ways to lose weight as a vegetarian very effectively without the need to buy expensive equipment or get-slim-quick formula from any weight loss companies.
Perhaps the best way to start is to first find out if you really need to shed some weight before following the ultimate Vegetarian Weight Loss Guide. And remember, losing weight at a steady pace means 1 - 4 pounds per week. Losing beyond 4 pounds may not only lead to saggy skin easily (particularly when you need to remove more than 100 pounds), but can result in irreversible health damage.
If you need help to lose weight healthily, do feel free to write to me. I'll be more than happy to assist you.
Best of health,